The Present and Future of Air Power






‘The Past and Future of Air Power’ was a two-day Conference (May 8-9, 2018) organized by the Institute for the Study of War and Strategy, School of International Relations, University of St Andrews.

Air power, or the application of kinetic and increasingly electronic force from air and even space-based platforms, is the determinative element in almost all conflict today. It is and will continue to be the most advanced, and effective means of applying force, yet it is also extremely expensive controversial and opens the most important ethical and legal challenges while playing a unique role in both our political and cultural understandings. The purpose of this conference is to examine air power from these wide-ranging viewpoints, spending the first day analysing the past two decades and the second day discussing where we will be heading in the future.

We were delighted to bring a world-leading group of those working in the field of air power to the University of St Andrews to speak at the conference, including major figures from government, the armed services, academia and industry. A major keynote address each day was given by Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman and General David Deptula. Other speakers included: Group Captain Jim Beldon, Col. Gary Brown, Commodore Neil Brown, Professor Michael Clarke, Professor Nick Colosimo, General Charles Dunlap, Dr Christina Goulter, Dr Peter Gray, Dr Ulrike Franke, Professor Jean Baptiste Jeangène-Vilmer, Dr Benjamin Lambeth, Professor Phillips O’Brien, Col. John A. Olsen, Professor Frans Osinga, Professor Philip Sabin, Air Vice Marshal Ed Stringer, Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy and Professor Trevor Taylor.




A podcast of the conference is available here.